Get ready for the next 'little ice age'

It’s official, the global warming scare is over. The latest report from the independent panel on climate change is warning of decreasing global temperatures, and the impact that will have on crops and food security.

If you believe the power of computer models to predict the future, then you’d better stock up on winter woollies, down duvets and triple-glazing. According to the meddling modellers, it’s about to get a whole lot colder in the great northern hemisphere, where so much of humanity has its home.

With no significant warming in 20 years, you would have thought the bureaucrats would have abandoned the global warming band wagon much sooner. But a trillion dollar international edifice takes some time to unbundle. Many red-faced academics who placed the responsibility for climate at the door of human carbon emissions have faded into obscurity or quietly taken up new fields of study.

But the hard-core officials have stridently argued that “climate anomalies” are still a major threat to world peace, and need to be managed, no matter if it’s warming or cooling that is at issue.

Optimistic realists, on the other hand, point out that the cycle turned in 2013, when sea ice made an unexpected come back in the Arctic summer, destroying all predictions of an ice-free northern sea route in the future. So preparing for an ice age in the next century may be equally alarmist.

Climate change, like so many phenomena at the geological and cosmic scale, cannot be controlled by humans, no matter how arrogant we are. Perhaps now we can get back to dealing with real environmental problems, like pollution, biodiversity and preserving natural habitats.

ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be

Observing the facts
The real inconvenient truth is that we still don’t understand what truly causes the large variations in our planet’s climate over the ages, or even over a period of years. Many theories and complex models have been built, all of which appear to be unable to lend certainty to the future of climate trends.

From simple observation, we can say with confidence that the planet has been warming slightly since the 1980s, but there has been no significant warming since 2000, and the trend seems to be curving downwards. This could indicate a decade or two of slight cooling, which would be bad for crop production, but may not materialize.

The official graph of global temperature makes this quite obvious.


Sea ice takes change in its stride
Highlighting the ridiculous rhetoric of global warming doomsayers is the often repeated ‘prediction’ that we will soon see the Arctic Ocean free of ice in summer. President Barak Obama, in his 2013 address to the nation about the seriousness of climate change said that “the ice retreats year after year.”

Later that same year, Arctic sea ice made an incredible comeback of about 60% from its 2012 low. At the same time, sea ice in the southern ocean around Antarctica rose to an all-time high. Huge variations in the extent of sea ice will continue, both seasonally and from year-to-year.


The debate rages on
Even as the death of global warming becomes an undisputed fact, the debate about whether climate change is a planetary emergency continues. Some politicians even argue that the policies are correct, even if the science is wrong. It is better to spend billions, they claim, to subsidize clean energy and conserve resources, than to tackle pollution and foster economic growth. Of course, more reasoned voices from the opposing camp say the exact opposite!

The future of climate change is assured. The climate will change! When, how much, and in what direction remains to be seen…

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.